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PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTS. 1980 Sep-Oct; 95(5):422-6.The implications of the eradication of smallpox in the context of epidemiology are presented. Eradication of disease has been conceived since the 1st smallpox vaccination was developed in the 18th century. Since then, attempts to eradicate yellow fever, malaria, yaws and smallpox have been instituted. Most public health professionals have been rightfully skeptical. Indeed, the success with smallpox was fortuitous and achieved only by a narrow margin. It is unlikely that any other disease will be eradicated, lacking the perfect epidemiological characteristics and affordable technology. The key to success with smallpox was the principle of surveillance. This concept has a vigorous developmental history in the discipline of epidemiology, derived from the work of Langmuir and Farr. It involves meticulous data collection, analysis, appropriate action and evaluation. In the case of smallpox, only these techniques permitted the key observations that smallpox vaccination was remarkably durable, and that effective reporting was fundamental for success. The currently popular goal of health for all, through horizontal programs, is contrary to the methods of epidemiology because its objective is vague and meaningless, no specific management structure is envisioned, and no system of surveillance and assessment is in place.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1985. 110 p.3 World Health Organization (WHO) Scientific Groups have examined different technical aspects of the problem of sexually transmitted diseases and their reports have been published in the Technical Report Series. This book has been prepared following the meeting of a scientific working group that was held in Washington in April 1982 to discuss the formulation of appropriate strategies and programs for the control of this group of diseases. This book emphasizes the need for such programs to be integrated into general programs for the control of communicable diseases and for the gynecologcal, obstetric, pediatric, and urological services to play an active and dynamic part. A control activity for sexually transmitted diseases is any activity which minimizes the adverse health effects of this group of diseases. Control activities may reduce the incidence of the disease; the duration of the disease; the effects of each case, including both the physical complications and psychosocial consequences; or the cost of achieving certain outcomes, i.e., increase the efficiency of services. Many different control activities, for example, clinical services, screening, and contact tracing, can reduce the effects of sexually transmitted diseases. A control program is composed of various control activities. Priorities are established, various options for control are examined, and appropriate methods are adopted. Control programs for sexually transmitted diseases define the population to be covered and specify the control activities related to that group. The 1st section of this book covers initial planning steps, focusing on estimating the public health importance of sexually transmitted diseases, priority groups, and sociological aspects of control. The section devoted to intervention strategies deals with health promotion, disease detection, national treatment programs, contact tracing and patient counseling, and clinical services. The 4 chapters that make up the support components section discuss centers for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, information systems, professional training, and laboratory services. The 2 chapters devoted to implementation examine program management and evaluation of control programs. This book may appear to suggest that the disease control process should be highly systematic, comprehensive, and compartmentalized. Yet, in practice, many activities take place simultaneously and in a manner that is far from systematic, sequential, and ordered.